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Scriptnotes Podcast

Screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and related topics in the film and television industry, everything from getting stuff written to the vagaries of copyright and work-for-hire law.
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Now displaying: May, 2018
Get access to all episodes from SCRIPTNOTES for just 1.99 a month with Premium Access through MyLibsyn.
May 29, 2018

John and Craig welcome Lisa Joy & Jonah Nolan (Westworld) and Stephen McFeely & Christopher Markus (Avengers: Infinity War) to our annual live show benefitting Hollywood Heart.

We discuss worldbuilding, the challenges and delights of serialized storytelling, and the extreme measures taken to keep secrets.

We also answer audience questions on villains as protagonists, music supervision, and research as procrastination.

Recorded May 22, 2018 at the ArcLight in Hollywood


Links:

* Thanks to the ArcLight, Hollywood HEART, and everyone who came out for this Live Show!
* Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan are on the second season of Westworld on HBO.
* Stephen McFeely & Christopher Markus’s Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters now.
* The Scriptnotes Listeners’ Guide!
* The USB drives!
* John August on Twitter
* Craig Mazin on Twitter
* John on Instagram
* Find past episodes
* Outro by Matthew Chilleli (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

May 22, 2018

John and Craig talk about the way that movies tend to bring their stories full circle, and what that means for writers trying to figure out their story beats. They discuss rhyming, bookending and how properly setting up the central thematic question helps make the answer feel meaningful.

We also answer listener questions about putting one’s work on YouTube, annotating scripts, and arbitration.


Links:

* Our next live Scriptnotes with Jonah Nolan & Lisa Joy (Westworld) and Stephen McFeely & Christopher Markus (Avengers: Infinity War) is TONIGHT, Tuesday, May 22nd at the ArcLight in Hollywood. Proceeds benefit Hollywood HEART, which runs special programs and summer camps for at-risk youth.
* John’s statement on one theater’s choice to cancel their performance of Big Fish over the inclusion of same-sex parents.
* Highland 2 is officially out! This is the New York Times article about our Gender Analysis feature.
* Names on the Globe by George R. Stewart discusses the pronunciation of L.A.
* One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong. is a Washington Post article by Avi Selk about whether to put one space or two after a period.
* According to Craig, Fun Home is a good example of a moving bookending.
* The Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman
* Dan Harmon’s Story Circle
* 21 Things to Know Before Losing Your Gay Virginity by Alexander Cheves
* Moodnotes is an app that tracks your mood
* The Scriptnotes Listeners’ Guide!
* The USB drives!
* John August on Twitter
* Craig Mazin on Twitter
* John on Instagram
* Find past episodes
* Outro by Olufemi Sowemimo (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

May 15, 2018

John and co-host John Gatins sit down with Aline Brosh McKenna and Rachel Bloom to discuss the experience of writing the third season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, from breaking story in hot tubs to adjusting genital-related dances in compliance with Broadcast Standards and Practices.

With spoilers aplenty, we discuss the challenges of a TV protagonist’s Act 2 “rocky shoals,” the nuance of exploring mental illness with comedy, the process of writing surprising musical numbers, and the opportunities of turning the rom-com genre on its head.

Recorded live on May 9th.


Links:

* Our next live Scriptnotes with Jonah Nolan & Lisa Joy (Westworld) and Stephen McFeely & Christopher Markus (Avengers: Infinity War) will be Tuesday, May 22nd at the ArcLight in Hollywood. Tickets are on sale now -- proceeds benefit Hollywood HEART, which runs special programs and summer camps for at-risk youth.
* Some Crazy Ex-Girlfriend context may be helpful for this episode. You can watch it here! Otherwise, here’s the Wikipedia entry.
* The Scriptnotes Listeners’ Guide!
* The USB drives!
* John August on Twitter
* Craig Mazin on Twitter
* John on Instagram
* Find past episodes
* Outro from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

May 8, 2018

John and Craig discuss the digital tools of the trade. From outline to first draft to production rewrites, screenwriters find themselves facing different challenges. We talk about what works for each of us. We also speculate on what impact Highland 2’s gender analysis tool will have.

Then we answer listener questions about following the “rules” of formatting, from creative scene headers to “hey reader” notes and tips for introducing characters who play important roles later in the script.


Links:

* Our next live Scriptnotes with Jonah Nolan & Lisa Joy (Westworld) and Stephen McFeely & Christopher Markus (Avengers: Infinity War) will be Tuesday, May 22nd at the ArcLight in Hollywood. Tickets are on sale now -- proceeds benefit Hollywood HEART, which runs special programs and summer camps for at-risk youth.
* Frank Oz, in case you’re curious
* Look how fast Highland 2 loads War and Peace compared to other programs!
* Scriptnotes, Ep 125: The One with the Guys from Final Draft
* Welcome to Southern California includes a 1953 pronunciation of “Los Angeles”
* Less by Andrew Sean Greer
* The Scriptnotes Listeners’ Guide!
* The USB drives!
* John August on Twitter
* Craig Mazin on Twitter
* John on Instagram
* Find past episodes
* Outro by Larry Douziech (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

May 1, 2018

John and Craig partake in another installment of How Would This Be a Movie? Which story is destined for the big screen: The millennial mother with her surprise, Youtube-guided childbirth? The couple that has the same fight for decades? The Japanese families-for-hire?

We also follow up on the logic of multi-cam formatting, Georgia’s success in diversifying crews through training programs, and effective character descriptions.

Tickets are now on sale for our next Scriptnotes Live Show on Tuesday, May 22nd at the ArcLight in Hollywood, with guests including Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan of Westworld.


Links:

* Our next live Scriptnotes will be Tuesday, May 22nd at the ArcLight in Hollywood. Tickets are on sale now -- proceeds benefit Hollywood HEART, which runs special programs and summer camps for at-risk youth.
* How 50 Famous Female Characters Were Described in Their Screenplays by Kyle Buchanan and Jordan Crucchiola for Vulture
* Woman tells incredible story of how she used YouTube videos to carry out waterbirth of own baby she doubted she even had, while alone in hotel room written by Tom Embury-Dennis for The Independent
* The Worrywart vs. the Zen Master by Tom Bowman and Brigid Schulte for Slate
* Japan’s Rent-A-Family Industry, written by Elif Batuman for The New Yorker
* Choir!Choir!Choir! is a choir in Toronto that meets once a week for drop-in singing events.
* QTAKE Monitor is an app that lets you watch shots on set from your own device.
* The Scriptnotes Listeners’ Guide!
* The USB drives!
* John August on Twitter
* Craig Mazin on Twitter
* John on Instagram
* Find past episodes
* Outro by Nicolas Curcio (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

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